Should you quit your job to freelance or should you stay where you are and build up your experience? Is freelancing worth it, or should you just stick with what you know?
These are difficult questions that we all go through at some point in our lives. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this question either; everyone's situation is different.
I am going to try and answer this question and share how I did it when I did have a full-time job.
How I started with Freelancing?
I had a sales job -- and I had it consecutively for 3 years or so -- before I realized that jobs are not for me (it's just not me to listen to some fool of a boss, work for a company that benefits from my efforts but doesn't pay me enough, and several reasons that matter to me).
While I still had a full-time job (12-14 hours, Monday to Saturday), I plunged into "Craigslist", picked up a few writing projects, and started working away.
This was in addition to whatever life (and the job) throws at me every day.
I debated over whether to quit my job and freelance or stay with what I knew.
However, there's just one rule (my mom passed it down to me): Don't leave something unless the other thing pays equal or more than this thing you want to leave.
I waited for a long-time(working a full-time job + doing freelancing with bad projects) until I made enough to justify quitting the full-time job.
Eventually, I did. Only when I was sure that I could make more (and consistently) or at least equal to what my day job paid me.
Once I started full-time freelancing, however, I never looked back.
Should you Quit your job for freelancing?
If you are just starting out, testing the waters, and want to see what you are worthwhile still having the security of a day job, then I would say no.
However, if you have been freelancing successfully and consistently for at least six months or more in your desired field with clients who appreciate your work, then it might be time to quit your job.
Whenever you think you are ready, just quit. It's a leap of faith all of us have to take at one time or the other.
Prepare for your Freelancing Career
Once you quit, you owe it to yourself to succeed. There are no ifs and buts. What "success" means is going to be different for you than it is for me. Your skills, experiences, and personal circumstances will also affect your freelancing business.
Yet, there are a few things that are worth remembering when you get into freelancing:
You have no one to tell you what to do and what not to do. On a daily basis, you are your own boss (usually, we are all useless bosses when it comes to governing ourselves)
Be accountable. Your freelancing mistakes are yours to own.
Maintain a productive routine (because just waking up and trying to do "something" won't work). This is a business.
You have to hustle. It's your job to get your own clients, deliver work for them, manage clients, and get paid for freelancing work.
How you price your freelancing services totally depends on you. Making these decisions has a direct impact on your revenue and how much you make as a freelancer.
Staying motivated to do freelancing for long enough can be a challenge. We have to find ways to motivate ourselves and make sure we stay on the right track. So, find your own reasons to stay motivated. Pick what ticks you.
In freelancing, there is no one telling you what's wrong or what's not working. There will always come a time when it feels like everything has gone haywire. Some days are great. Learn to do some tight-rope walking.
I highly recommend that you put all of the above into practice -- make it an everyday thing (even if you are just working a couple of hours a day) while you keep your day job.
Note: Double-check with your employer if it's alright to freelance on the side. Most employers don't accept if there's a risk to their Intellectual property or if there's a conflict of interest (Get proper advice on the legal side of things, and I am not your legal advisor).
Freelancing, however, is a possible first step towards entrepreneurship.
What are you going to do about it?
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